Sometimes we all forget that football is just a game. When it comes down to it, the wins and losses, trophies and relegations, joys and disappointment pale in comparison to things that occur in life outside the sport. Igor Budan can attest to that fact, recently experiencing a personal tragedy that makes any sort of mention about “calcio” seem trivial and miniscule.
On July 13, Igor received word that his 2 year old daughter Amber passed away after a sudden bout with an extremely rare form of meningitis. It was shocking and unexpected for the young girl who was born in Palermo back in March of 2010 (if anyone remembers this Budan goal against Juventus, it was in celebration of the birth of Amber). Budan quickly left the pre-season training camp to be with his family during this horrific period.
Such a tragedy is indescribable and no words can bring about the true gravity of the situation. Yet, Budan is now taking the first difficult steps back to “normalcy” by rejoining training and trying to move forward without ever forgetting the most important things in life. Today, he sat down to give a press conference. Unlike typical pressers, this one was heart-breaking and moving. The transcript has been translated in its entirety below:
“I wanted to thank everyone for the support that has been important. Certainly, it’s a situation that’s difficult to comment on. There are no words, but life continues and I surely need to thank everyone without excluding anybody, I think to everyone, fans included. Thanks to my teammates, the President, his wife, who have been unparalleled because to feel their presence at my house the day after gave me the strength to try to begin again. This is little but certain.
I also want to give more precise information, because it was a type of meningitis different from the others. The syndrome is called Waterhouse-Friderichsen syndrome and it’s sad that they still aren’t able to find a vaccine or solution to avoid this bacterium, meningococcus, from getting into the blood. In Italy, there’ll be around 10 cases a year, of which 3% is this particular type of form.
It was important for me, the affection of all my teammates, indistinctly, and now I want to start again for them, because otherwise it’d be a personal defeat – even if there are no words right now. I can’t stop. I have another daughter, there’s my wife. I want to be an example for the others, to show that you can react, that you can go forward. Retire? I can’t give a response, right now, physically, I’m good but I must see if I’m able to give my contribution from an adrenalin point of view. Last year was an important half season for me in which I realized I still had a lot of desire and energy on the pitch. I think positively. Time is needed, but I don’t want to be a burden to the others. If I see that it doesn’t make sense [to continue], it doesn’t make sense. But today, you see it as a defeat, yet I want to finish differently. Zamparini told me to stay in a hotel with my wife, without any problems, but I wanted to re-enter the group to try and laugh a bit and take a break.”
FORZA IGOR! SIAMO TUTTI CON TE!